We spent nearly a day at St Mark's Square and in the basilica, and then also headed over to the Peggy Guggenheim musuem. She was a wealthy, art-fanatic heiress, and had a lovely house in Venice filled with famous modern art pieces. Her story is absolutely fascinating. Read more here.
Rick Steve's travel book on Venice was really helpful for us to determine our priorities to visit...not because we had the same priorities as Rick Steves (he's really into art and we were more into religious and historical artifacts and experiencing the culture)...but because he had great descriptions of all the important sights to see.
no flash allowed and a cloudy day made these interior photos less than perfect, but as most of the cathedrals we toured in Italy, it was epic! No detail left undone.
We climbed upstairs to the balcony, we got a great view from the interior...
and then walked outside to see the view of St. Mark's Square:
those horses (replicas of the ones inside) were stolen in the early first century from Constantinople and brought back by Venetians during the fourth crusade on the Byzantine Empire
A view of the bell tower, a little closer to the top. (and the sky finally clearning up!)
Looking down at St Mark's Square. The two stages with seats around them are for the dueling orchestras. Two orchestra's at different restaurants play back and forth and people move from stage to stage to listen.
Andrea Bocelli was singing a concert on that larger stage just the day after we left Venice--disappointing to miss it!
the view from the other end of the balcony
After eating a quick pizza for lunch, we headed off to ferry to explore another cathedral across the channel, Saint Giorgio
The view back to the bell tower and St. Mark's. (yes there are two bell towers!)
Climbing up the bell tower by San Giorgio was much quicker (no lines) and cheaper than the bell tower Campanile...plus we got a great view of the square and the ocean!
we smooched and held hands
and nearly jumped out of our skin when the bell tolled. You could feel it in your chest--it was so ear shattering and thrilling!
That evening after dinner we went on a gondola ride. We brought a bottle of wine and some plastic cups and snuggled next to each other for the 30 minutes ride through the eerily calm canals. Our gondolier kept tell us to smooch, so we felt totally comfortable acting like newlyweds.
The gondola ride with the single most expensive entertainment-type thing we did on our honeymoon, and even though it wasn't quite as amazing as I had imagined, we couldn't have possibly left Venice with out doing it!
Our recommendations--do it at night, even though it's more expensive (it's just not the same during the day!); but go off the beaten path and negotiate. We got 10% off the price they quoted us and might have gotten better if we had asked for lower. They're making 100-120 euro for a 30 minute ride!
Thus concludes our two busy and lovely days in Venice!
PS. I got lazy and did not watermark all of our photos. Please do not steal them, and if you do use them cite myself and this blog!